So here's the scoop on flight plans:
I report to the travel office here at the MTC at 4 am on Monday. There's 6 of us total going to Nagoya this trip, but I'm the only sister in this group, so I'll have two elders be my escorts. We then drive up to Salt Lake and fly to Detroit. We have a two and a half hour layover in Detroit and then we fly straight into the Nagoya, Japan airport. 20 hours total flying time. I may have time to call you from Salt Lake, which would be about 7 am Indiana time or I may call you from Detroit which would be about 1 pm Indiana time. Most likely it will be from Detroit since we have so much time there and I'm not sure how much time I'll have in Salt Lake. Also, because I leave before next Tuesday, I'm not sure when my next e-mail will be. Once in Japan, it's go go go!
Tsuchiya sensei, one of my professors from BYU Japanese classes, was on a training video here at the MTC. I was like "I know him!" and couldn't stop smiling through the whole video. More kohai came. We're now grand-sempai. We hosted again. I had one sister from Texas going to California, Spanish speaking, one sister from Arizona going to Chile, and one sister from Utah going to Russia. I accidentally lost one of the sister's key cards as we were moving around. It's not a big deal and it can be resolved quickly, but I felt bad that it happened on her first day.
My cold died! Yay! One of our teachers had a class that he needed to go to, so he asked another teacher to sub for him. Unfortunately, that teacher forgot that he was subbing and so we didn't have a teacher for about 2 hours. Another teacher came in our room and paged the front desk because he couldn't get a hold of his supervisor to tell him of the situation. That teacher, instead of saying "I'm a teacher for a different room reporting that this room doesn't have a teacher" he said "Um, there isn't a teacher in this room..." Once he said that, he realized that he was a teacher, in the room, and that he just sounded like one of us missionaries. He got red and just sidled out of the room and let us handle the rest of the talking. Eventually, the supervisor was reached and he came in and taught us for a while. Then the actual sub showed up and took over. I dunno what's going to come of this, but I think it's a funny anectdote. Abraham Shimai was giving the orientation speech to the new kohai, but Miller Shimai and I needed to go pick her up because the new kohai live in another building. Between the end of class and the time we had to pick her up, we had about 20 min of gym. Rather than change out of my clothes just to change back into them in 15 min, I just exercised in a skirt and boots.
We got our flight plans! Rust sensei told us that he's found a ring for his girlfriend, but he hasn't bought it yet because it's so expensive. Tano choro got cupcakes from the Cocoa Bean and he let me have one. It brought back good memories.
I took a grammar assessment and got 86% right! Wohoo. I found out one of the new kohai is from Columbus. He's going to Sapporo. He says he knows Parley and Shelby and that lot. I don't remember his name though...At TRC, we had two live volunteers. It was hard catering to two people's needs when we're so used to teaching only one person. Rust sensei served in Nagoya too. He told me that about 5 months ago, about the time my call was being decided, that Sister Baird (the Nagoya mission president's wife) sent him an e-mail saying, "Rust choro, did you know, we're getting another missionary from Indiana. Her name is Sister Hodson and she's from Indianapolis. We're so blessed to have another missionary from that state." That made me feel special and like my mission president really does know who I am and is looking out for me.
Watched a recorded devotional by Elder Bednar. He is so funny! He said that in General Converence, it is not the time to pop off (his words, not mine) so don't be surprised when general authorities are more funny than you expect. He said that one of Elder Oaks favorite jokes is "I (Elder Oaks) was going about my day with a pocket sized version of the Book of Mormon in my shirt pocket. A man with a gun came up and tried to rob me. The man shot, but the Book of Mormon saved my life. The bullet stopped at the Isaiah chapters." Elder Bednar's talk was about spritual promptings. It was so wonderful. I wish that I could show it to you or e-mail the transcript to you, but I can't. See if you can find "Recognizing the Spirit" online. Basically he said "How do you know if it is just you or if it is the Spirit? Quit worrying about it. Quit fussing, quit stewing. Be a good boy, be a good girl, keep your covenants and keep the commandments." He then shared three experiences he had with promptings. Loved it. I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting entirely in Japanese. The Japanese missionaries sung the EFY medley Army of Helaman/Sisters in Zion. I felt their testimonies through their singing. In the big mission conference, one of the presidency's wives gave a talk about cookies. It seemed a little cruel to do on a Fast Sunday. We had a meeting of all of the Japanese shimai, just us, President Mack, and Sister Mack. Sister Mack shared that when she was an addiction recovery missionary, they would ask the people who/what God was like. They then asked if they could create a God, what would he be like. Almost always the one they "created" was more like the true character of Heavenly Father than the image they had in their mind. She said that when we are struggling, it's almost always because we have an incorrect view of Heavenly Father. "This problem is too small to take to Him" or "I have to do this on my own" or "this isn't gospel related, so He doesn't have an opinion" or something like that. I appreciated her comments.
We now have only one gym time remaining because Wed, we're hosting again, Thu there is only personal gym time not official gym time and Sat we're packing. Friday is the last time. Sandberg sensei rapped a grammer lesson for us. I did the beatboxing and she freestyled the rap. We were laughing so hard by the end. At gym, one elder (not one of ours) passed out and wasn't moving or waking up so they had to call an ambulance. I'm not sure what happened, but I'm pretty sure that he's ok. We had a seminar by Brother Mills who is the international director at this MTC. He was also the mission president of Fukuoka Japan and back in the day he served in Nagoya. What he shared really pumped me up and gave me faith that I can accomplish much in Japan. He shared about Roger Bannister, the first person to break the 4 min mile, and how back before the 50's people thought that it was physically impossible, but today it is the normal average racing time. He said that Heber J Grant, when he dedicated the land of Japan, said later in his life that dedicatory prayer was the greatest prayer he ever gave in his life. Heber J Grant also said that the work of the gospel in Japan would astonish the world in the years to come. I felt the Spirit witness that that was true. I'm so ready to go!